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Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre Mind Games Reached “Uncomfortable” Levels

Posted on by Jeff Cain

UFC 158 weigh-insThe mind games between welterweight challenger Nick Diaz and champion Georges St-Pierre reached “uncomfortable” levels leading up to the UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz main event, according to St-Pierre.

Diaz had been calling for a fight with St-Pierre for years.  He accused the champion of not really being injured and being scared to take the fight, while St-Pierre rehabbed his knee from an ACL injury.

On a media conference call leading up to the event, Diaz attacked St-Pierre’s character.  He called the champion pampered.  Diaz went on a sports talk radio show and accused St-Pierre of being on steroids.  The two had to be separated during the weigh-ins, but the mind games reached another level backstage just prior to walking out to the Octagon.

“Just before the fight I was in the locker room.  They sent some guy over to check my hand wrap.  It was going back and forth.  They were yelling in my locker room.  Everything was about head games.  It was crazy.  It’s the first time someone played a lot of head games like this with me,” said St-Pierre during the post-fight press conference.

UFC president Dana White explained what occurred with the hand wraps.

“So what happened was, Jake Shields was the one who sat in on the hand wrap.  After they wrapped (St-Pierre’s) hands, Shields said, ‘cool, see you later,’ and then they came back later and said they wanted another guy to look at the hand wrap.  The commission said, ‘you already did the hand wraps.  He’s gloved up.  It’s over.’  So then they started to freak out, but everything was taken care of,” said White.

“What I think happened with the whole hand wrap thing, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book in boxing.  It was part of the whole plan to mess with GSP,” said White following the post-fight press conference.

“As soon as the fight was over, the hand wraps were cut off and put in a bag and given to the commission,” revealed White.   The commission has both fighters’ hand wraps and will investigate them at the request of either camp.

St-Pierre is happy to get the rivalry with Diaz behind him.

“It was a tough fight for me.  I just wanted to get rid of it.  It was tough.  It was very demanding, very stressful,” said the champion. “Some people play head games with me before, but that level it was quite uncomfortable.  It was something else.”

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  • http://twitter.com/EncoroEncuero encoro-encuero

    GSP in the post fight interview said that Diaz “did a good job promoting the fight” after all that personal crap that was said prior the fight? I know that all of that is bs and drama, but having the champion admittin it, in such a shameless way was too much.

    • DJ

      I agree. But now here he’s saying that it worked, implies it was real.

    • Sir_Roy

      I think GSP was trying to throw Diaz a bone more so than admitting to much of anything TBH. It was a ‘gentleman’s gesture’ to have fans ease just a tad off Diaz.

      Georges is also smart enough to know a gesture like that makes him look like the bigger man. Good P.R work on GSP’s part. Well played.

  • DJ

    If this admission is to be believed, Diaz didn’t have the talent to beat GSP but it appears he provided the blueprint for someone else to get inside his head.

    • GoNoles

      idk i think after seeing round 3 thru 5 i think he has felt his strength and speed and could train for it this time around and perform better in another fight with em. diaz gave gsp the biggest fits in the grappling department i have seen in a while

      • Sir_Roy

        Because he was so damn unorthodox. GSP was at a loss (and too timid to really try and take his back). Smart strategy on Diaz’ part I must admit.

        • http://www.facebook.com/BobbyDeSaint Bobby Delos Santos

          GSP smothers Diaz in guard>Diaz goes active in guard GSP Stands punches>GSP Passes or Diaz goes turtle>GSP Controls>Diaz catches arm to roll> GSP switches sides>Rinse repeat. Pure GSP gameplan. Diaz postfight said himself to the effect of I dont know how GSP knew what i was going to do

          • Sir_Roy

            In hindsight, you’re probably right. All part of the plan. Most of my comments were made right after watching the fight … and as a GSP fan, I guess I was a little disappointed in the overall performance.

            He stuck to the plan, he fought smart, but the fight itself was lackluster IMHO as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on the “all GSP does is lays & prays and is a boring fighter” bandwagon. I loved his Condit fight, enjoyed his systematic dismantling of Koscheck, and I’m all for 5 rounds of GSP taking his opponents to school. But there are a few moments, such as his fight with Diaz, that have me wishing Georges would unload, put it out there, just a little bit more.

            I’ll definitely have to re-watch it … when I’m in the mood to be underwhelmed.

    • Rory

      If you watch the fight again, its the the turtle guard which gave gsp problems and wore him down. This was the strategy for diaz specifically for this fight. Try to get gsp tired and use the standup in the later rounds and go for the finish

      • Sir_Roy

        You’re right there. GSP tuckered himself out big time with the turtle guard. Georges should have tried taking Diaz’ back … but he has too much to lose to really “mix it up” I guess. Taking a top tier BJJ practitioners back like Diaz opens the floodgates to a full on JJ battle of attrition. GSP erred on the side of caution and his gas tank paid the price.

        • Shemo

          Watch the fight again… GSP went for his back 4 times.

          • Lawdog1521

            GSP also out scored Diaz in almost every category. Dropping three rounds in the hopes you’ll tire out your opponent is one of the dumbest strategies there is… so in retrospect, it probably was Diaz’s strategy.

          • Sir_Roy

            Lol. Good point.

          • Sir_Roy

            GSP tried turning him over, tried striking from the side … but I only recall him truly attempting to get hooks in from the back twice. And this somewhat tentatively and noncommittally.

            I will indeed re-watch the fight though.

          • kbroesq

            Yeah, I don’t think GSP really committed to getting the hooks in. It’s pretty clear from the fight. GSP is comfortable wrestling, primarily. Why put his hooks in so DIaz can just turn around and be in GSP’s guard? GSP is probably more comfortable with wrestling positions.

        • bob coy

          Ya GSP really erred big time and really paid the price! Quit trying to sound intelligent and really sounding so foolish. If I recall, GSP won the fight in a lopsided fashion. While not exciting , Diaz had little resistance to offer. That’s not an error my friend, that’s strategy and dominance. The Loser ” erred” not the winner. Lol

          • Sir_Roy

            Yeah … GSP won in “lopsided” but entirely unspectacular fashion. Want to deny that? Additionally, he made a mistake in energy expenditure, by his own admittance, in the first few rounds pulling and tugging on Diaz in turtle guard – which left him somewhat gassed in the latter rounds, leading to Diaz stuffing sloppy take down attempts forcing GSP to spend 13 minutes on his feet when his game plan was to avoid doing so. Likewise fact – and this by GSP’s own admission.

            That is what I’m stating. Nothing erroneous there fella.

            Where in my post do I contest that he won all rounds, or even in dominant fashion? No where … so right back at ya. Stop trying to sound smart and address what someone is actually saying, not your need to leg hump your hero and defend him against an attack that wasn’t even there. Lol.

  • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

    I just want to know what’s left for GSP if he beats Hendricks. He’s dealt with wrestlers and high level submission artist before. He’s dealt with great strikers like Thiago Alves who not only has great boxing but some of the best leg kicks around. I’d also love to see Jake Shields vs Maia.

    • Milosc

      Hendricks takes away St-Pierre’s #1 skill. He is also completely unorthodox, supremely confident, and has little to lose

      • RoBeRtOe

        Durrrrrr, so did Kos right?

        • http://twitter.com/brianstevens131 brian stevens

          kos isn’t as good of a a wrestler or boxer as hendricks.

          • David Landry

            Kos gave Hendricks a wrestling lesson in their fight. He stuffed all Hendricks attempts at takedowns (4 I believe) and took Hendricks down for a good minute or so of G&P to end out the 3rd.

            The reason Hendricks won was Kos’s poor boxing … he’s a slugger with a good chin, and doesn’t cover up very well, so Hendricks was able to get in lots of shots to the head (all his significant shots were to the head as a matter of fact.) GSP isn’t going to be near as easy to hit, especially with a big speed advantage and a 7″ reach advantage.

          • Sir_Roy

            Hendricks is not the same fighter he was a few years back. He’s far from it in fact. Much improved stand-up and transitions, better, quicker.

            GSP didn’t really impress with Diaz to be honest. In hindsight, I think Georges was rattled and I think the head games got to him a bit. He seemed sluggish and tentative.

            Though if the GSP that fought Koscheck the first time shows up, the hungry, motivated GSP, then it’s going to be a bad night for Hendricks regardless. And especially so in the later rounds.

          • http://www.facebook.com/adam.bianski Adam Bianski

            I don’t think that Hendricks has the gas tank to deal with GSP. If you got time go back to our other conversation, about AS. If you do not I just want you to know I am not a fan of AS I just respect greatness and I understand it is easier to be right when you pick the better fighter.

          • kbroesq

            That’s also a good point. Hendrix will get more tired than GSP later in the fight. I either see GSP jabbing Hendrix to death early in the fight, or pounding him out later in the fight. Hendrix may land that left, but that’s really his only way to win; to his a home run.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=759915261 Harry Hopper

            Bottom Line is GSP Beat Diaz whether you were impressed or not and seeing how shallow Hendricks gas tank is I would bet on Diaz to beat him 100 out of 100 times !

          • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

            You sure know your fight game. Love fans like you. Please follow me on fbook and twitter. I’m always up for fight talk.

          • Crashman

            Its cool that you can actually have a debate without one person saying “your such an idiot and call you a homo” etc, . goodonya !!

          • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

            I try my best not to state any personal opinions unless specifically asked and I love debating the fight game. Once in a while I’ll place a friendly wager for a free shirt if they pick the winner and such. I never understood fighting with people who have the same passion for the sport. Once in a while you do get the guys who don’t want to talk and just say horrible things but it happens.

          • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

            What did you think of their fight? A lot of people feel Hendricks lose but I say it was a great fight back and fourth and was close. I like Hendricks a lot I’m for sure a fan of his but he certainly did not school KOS in wrestling or boxing in that fight.

          • JROd

            I’m with you on the Koscheck fight. Kos was robbed by the judges.
            But Johnny impressed me on Saturday. I had a lot of doubts, but the “Wins over Condit” list is very short. He got serious props and respect from this guy. In the end though, you know GSP is going to game plan for this guy. He won’t be able to muscle Georges, like he did to Carlos.

          • JRod

            …and pls nobody say Hendricks is an elite striker(or anything to that effect). Condit is a superior striker and skill wise, better all around. The difference in the fight was Johnny’s ability to neutralize Condit’s reach and put him on his back. GSP gave Hendricks the blue print a few months back…

          • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

            I’d like to see Condit at 185. He’s tall and so lean. Not saying he should go up but I would be interested to see him put on size and try out a fight or two at that weight.

          • kbroesq

            He was responding to the comment that Hendrix takes away GSP’s #1 skill, which is wrestling. So talking about Hendrix’s standup isn’t really relevant to the argument. I would also like to add Jon Fitch. Also, those guys ARE just as good of wrestlers as Hendrix.

            Look, Hendrix is really good, but let’s not get crazy. These guys get on winning streaks, and then they get some kind of halo over their head. This guy lost to Rick Story a while back. Rick Story is awesome, but he out wrestled him. Condit nearly KO’d Hendrix – he had his eyes rolling back in his head if you watch the slow motion replay. I’m intrigued by the match, but I really don’t see any reason why this isn’t going to end up like any other GSP fight.

      • OTR

        Hendricks had a tough close fight against Koscheck. St Pierre dominated Kos pretty easily. The only thing Hendricks has is the left hand. I give him a punchers chance. That’s it.

    • Nicain

      Anderson Silva, the guy he’s been ducking forever.

      • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

        I think GSP deserves that shot at Silva b/c of how long he has been around for and defending his title. I will admit though after seeing Silva destroy another LHW I’m not as interested in the match up but I certainly would never say he doesn’t deserve a chance. I just don’t see anyone beating Silva. He hasn’t slowed down a bit. Yes he got beat up by Sonnen but that guy is a beast and a high level wrestler who takes everybody down and grinds them out. He survived it and submitted him. I don’t think Silvas wrestling is weak either, it’s just not his biggest strength. Are you interested in the Silva/GSP or Silva/Weidman more?

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.bunch.969 John Bunch

      Hey man. Great conversation you got started! I know Fitch dismantled Erick Silva, but I love that kid. Obviously he has room to grow, but could pose an interesting challenge in a year or two if he gets back on track. But if I “hear” you correctly, you’re thinking AS again, aren’t you? It seems like GSP will have to reach that point pretty soon. If he was burnt out a while ago prior to and during his injury, I would think cleaning out the last 2 or 3 people in the division might finally push him to the biggest challenge remaining.

      • http://twitter.com/CombatScienceMA CombatScienceMMA

        I think the guy to really beat GSP is somebody we don’t know yet. A guy with great footwork with his thai boxing and a strong wrestling defense. I mean no offense to Hendricks but if he wins by a KO it doesn’t mean he’s a complete better fighter. I want to see somebody actually beat GSP in every manner.

  • Orville

    You’re story is wrong right off the hop. Diaz was pulled from that fight for missing a press conference and was given penn. After the penn fight diaz called out george and said he thought he was scared because st pierre was present and walking around with a slight tear, as he stated. The actual acl injury happened after George was told he would face condit. The result was the Diaz Condit/ fight!

    • Dnf

      Diaz and condit was a track meet, not a fight.

  • james j

    Diaz played head games because he knew he could not win.

  • Guest

    Did anyone else think this fight’s hype was incredibly unfair to Diaz?